Republicans are taking this whole un-American thing to a new level as they follow their party leader Donald Trump down the drain. So on this 15th anniversary of 9/11, Republican former Vice President Dick Cheney attacked the sitting president of the United States in order to blame President Obama for the mistakes of the Bush Cheney administration.
I’ll give you a sense of Cheney’s rant in the Wall Street Journal published on September 9th, but the tl/dr version is wah wah Obama bad, Republicans great, everything is Obama’s fault, Obama weak, Obama helping enemies, etc. You’d think Obama wasn’t the guy who got bin Laden when Bush and Cheney couldn’t be bothered.
The taste (making it brief for your health):
Defeating our enemies has been made significantly more difficult by the policies of Barack Obama. No American president has done more to weaken the U.S., hobble our defenses or aid our adversaries.
In 2006 on Meet the Press, then V.P Dick Cheney claimed that any criticism of then President Bush’s foreign policy encouraged and aided terrorists. Criticism of the war was unpatriotic, Bush told us. Cheney also claimed at a fundraiser that raising questions about what Bush knew “is thoroughly irresponsible and totally unworthy of national leaders in a time of war.”
Cheney has long blamed Obama for withdrawing the troops from Iraq, which is odd because Obama did that based on the Status of Forces Agreement then President George W. Bush signed.
Furthermore, Cheney knows that the U.S. president isn’t in charge of Iraq and can’t dictate to them when we would leave. Cheney also knows that we stayed on in an advise and assist mode, ready to step up when Iraqi Security Forces needed help. And Cheney also knows that the Iraqis didn’t want our troops there, and our troops weren’t always treated well even as they assisted.
Cheney knows it’s unseemly to not only attack the sitting president as a former V.P., and even worse, to do it on 9/11. It also happens to be inaccurate in this case.
In 2004, Republicans argued that to criticize Bush at all for the ever changing excuses for the Iraq invasion and the failure to plan an exit strategy before invading was to side against the troops. This was their argument for Bush as the accused the actual Bronze Star and Purple Heart war hero, John Kerry, of being unpatriotic and being against the troops, even as they swiftboated Kerry’s service.
People weren’t allowed to even question Bush and Cheney, and the press often went along with this new definition of patriotism.
Dick Cheney is thought to be the architect of the war in Iraq, an invasion the Bush Cheney administration based on false intel and a war that they claimed was related to 9/11. This war led to the instability of Iraq, which led to a power vacuum in Iraq, which in part led to the rise of ISIS.
Dick Cheney and the Bush administration were also the types who encouraged the kind of black and white thinking that caused the Dixie Chicks to be banned from radio because they criticized Bush’s plans for war in Iraq. The Bush administration harshly silenced dissent claiming we had to stick together or we were siding with the terrorists. Criticism of the president was “unpatriotic”, Republicans argued.
So it’s wildly hypocritical and cowardly that Dick Cheney picked 9/11 to rant about President Obama and incorrectly blame Obama for the rise of ISIS.
Dick Cheney said he would support Donald Trump. That really should be the end of Dick Cheney being given a platform to attack anyone.
If Cheney et al had not invaded Iraq based on lies, we wouldn’t be here right now even having this discussion. But certainly it’s not productive to use the painful anniversary of 9/11 to point fingers at the guy who took over after 9/11 happened on your watch and your administration’s war hawks manipulated intel to suggest Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
Here’s a kick in Cheney’s pants; the current Republican presidential nominee says that Bush and Cheney lied about WMD and thus started the Iraq war on a lie. Trump also blames Bush/Cheney administration for 9/11.
It’s no wonder Dick Cheney went full whining blame mode today. He has continued to refuse to take responsibility for the mistakes made in the lead up to the war, and instead of being a grown up, he’s lashing out– not even at Donald Trump who is openly accusing the administration of lying, because Cheney hasn’t that kind of moral courage — but of the sitting president who has been stuck mopping up the Bush Cheney mess as best he could.
Donald Trump isn’t a one-off, and one need only look at the despicable behavior of Dick Cheney to realize just where the party of personal responsibility really went off the rails.
This is what Republicans have come to. Childish finger pointing and projection of their own mistakes onto others, trolling America on 9/11, and general moral cowardice.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.